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Warwick-NUS World Literature Project

Funded by a two-year grant from Warwick's International Office, "World Literature as Crisis: Subalternity and Urbanity" is a collaboration with the National University of Singapore. The first event was held in Singapore in 2017. A key goal is to lay the ground for long-term collaboration between Warwick and NUS around our common interest in world literature and world cities.

This partnership builds on the common interest the two institutions have in current critical debates about the place and function of literature in society. We share a common interest in retheorizing world literature, which has become an increasingly visible model for literary studies in the last decade. (Approaches to world literature involve the study of the production and circulation of literature and literary cultures; the relationshp between multinational systems of capital and literary forms; and quesitons of comparison and translation.) Our collective eye is turned to Asia’s increasingly significant place in these academic formations, but the relative absence of Asian-based voices in the international conversations taking place in our wider fields. This absence also points to the way in which we believe “world literature” has problematically subsumed “postcolonial studies,” neutering its political engagement and displacing antecedent theories of power, material inequality, and cultural visibility. We are also interested in investigating the overlap and intersection between notions of the anthropocene—especially around our understanding of slow or deep time and fantasies of end time—and these word literature debates. Our goal is to triangulate the areas of world literature, postcolonial studies, and ecocriticism into a model for thinking about discipline and comparative method.

“World Literature as Crisis: Subalternity and Urbanity” Global Partnership Fund Project

London Workshop, 13 July 2018

Location: SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Room SG27 (Paul Webley Wing, Senate House)*

*Entrance is by the side of Senate House, past the main SOAS building and the Brunei Gallery. Map at

10:15-10.45: Welcome and introductions (Dr Ross Forman and Dr Rashmi Varma)

10.45-11.45: Panel 1

Dr Michael Tsang (University of Newcastle)
“The World at the East’s Fingertips: World Literature in East Asia”

Kathrine Domingo Ojano (National University of Singapore)
“Transnational Chronotopes in Han Suyin’s Autofictional Narrative of the Malayan Emergency”

11.45-12: Break

12-1: Panel 2

Professor Chitra Sankaran (National University of Singapore)
“Faith, Language and Slippage(s) in The Death of Fray Salvador Montano, Conquistador of Negros”

Natasha Bondré (University of Warwick)
“Black Gold and Black Power in Trinidad, 1962 – 1982”

1-2.30 Lunch

2-3: Panel 3

Dr Waiyee Loh (University of Warwick)
“At the Intersection of Empires: Singaporean Female Fans of the Neo-Victorian”

Teck Heng Tan (National University of Singapore)
“What’s Wrong with Sponsored Literature? Reading against Modernist Ideals in Eileen Chang’s ‘Propaganda’ Novel”


Dr Tania Roy (National University of Singapore)
“The Novel Form Past World History: Reading for Afterlives in Rana Dasgupta's Solo”

Divya Rao (Warwick)
“Black Power Fueling Dalit Power: The Decolonising Potential of Afro-Dalit Networks”

4-4.15 Break

4.15-5 Roundtable discussion and planning for future events